No image today.
My bag is packed for my Walk East (described in the previous post). I'm very excited, but there's an odd feeling as well. I don't want to overdramatize, but it's a different sensation to any kind of trip I've done before, for a couple reasons:
1) I have no idea where I'll be going. Literally five minutes into the walk I'll already be somewhere I didn't expect. The earlier variations will make the most difference as well. I keep looking at maps, guessing where I'll sleep tonight - zoomed out on google maps looking for the green oases of parks with enough trees to hide myself. Which takes me to the second reason:
2) I am aware that I will be encountering the city, suburbs, towns and rural areas in a different way. I've been reading an anthropologist named Tim Ingold lately, and paraphrased one of his ideas and added it to my desktop background:
"Ways of acting in the environment are ways of perceiving it."
I think this is a part of what got me interested in doing a random walk like this. I'll be acting differently in areas I know very well, and I expect that it will lead to a different perception of my environment. I'm already anticipating a number of realizations:
- Parks may be oases of privacy, and areas to sleep in.
- Fresh running water to bathe in may be nonexistent. It will be difficult to find a place to hole up for a while to wash and dry clothes as well. I'm fine with washing shirts in gas station sinks (as long as my shirt doesn't touch the sink - gross!), but then where do I hang out and dry it off?
- Large suburban and rural areas may be like deserts - no privacy, no gas stations for water.
- The above problems will be reduced when I get to wilderness areas, but lack of food source will then be a problem.
The last point is another part of the reason why I wanted to do this project. In the past, I think I've had a romantic notion of being able to 'rough it' in the bush for extended periods of time, but the truth is that it's almost impossible for one person to do such a thing alone. We count on technology and tools and each other to sustain ourselves.
Monday, October 8, 2012
My art has been a little different these days. Painting, drawing and animation are still a part of it, but my art practice is blurring more with the rest of my life. There are many reasons why I've gone in this direction - some aren't conscious, and some I probably don't yet realize.
One thing I'm doing is called "Four Stories" - a part of it is shown above. Every day, at six random times, I'm doing a drawing in a random direction, at a random "zoom level". There's no intention to make a nice composition. I'm doing it for one hundred days.
Another thing I'm doing, starting this Wednesday, has no name yet. Lets call it "Walking East". At 4:00 pm, starting at Emily Carr University, I'll be walking eastward. At every intersection where I can't tell which way is more "east", I'll randomly determine which route to take. I won't just be using roads - for me, a "route" will be roads, paths, ridgelines, river edges, streambeds, deer trails... anything that is linear and easy to follow, I guess. Maybe I'll make new definitions of "routes" as I go.
During this period, I'll still be doing "Four Stories" - so a part of this project will be contained within Four Stories. I will also be shooting random video footage eleven times per day, on the hour, between sunrise and sunset. I don't know what I'll do with the footage yet - probably edit it together. I'll also be tracking my path on a topographic map. (No cellphones / GPS, but I'll have a compass just in case.) I'll also have my backpack, tent, campstove, camouflage tarp, lots of raingear, a fishing rod, and other camping necessities.
This is the first part of the project - the next parts will be reflecting on the journey, maybe writing about it, and doing something with the footage. Who knows, it could expand into a larger project, or it could lead into thoughts on another project to undertake. All I know is that I'm very excited about doing it, and it feels more "me" than any other artwork I've done up to this point in my life.
When will I stop? This is, I think, one of the more interesting parts. I'm not going to start with any food, and will only buy food at places I walk past. Fortunately, there's a market at Granville Island, so I can stock up somewhat (but with fairly heavy food). So the project will end when I get hungry. There won't be any stores out past Chilliwack, so unless I get lucky with buying good lightweight food, or people give me food (which I would never ask for), the project will finish within a week.
If you see me on the side of the highway, toss me a cracker!